21 December 2010

Have Diabetes – Expect Shorter Life-Span?

This article has has some traction on a couple of diabetes forums. On one the person was lamenting about why go to all the effort to manage diabetes if they were going to have a shorter life anyway. On the other, there was some consternation, but most were saying that by managing their diabetes, they expected to beat these predictions.

This shows what can happen. One person was in a manner of speaking – throwing in the towel, while the other looked at this as a challenge to be proven wrong. That is somewhat the difference between the forums, one is pessimistic and the other is very positive in attitude. There should be little doubt about which one I participate on more actively.

With the medical advance being made today, people with diabetes can expect to live longer than in the past. Studies are still making us wonder why there is still so much doubt. On average, a 50-year-old with diabetes can expect to live 8.5 fewer years than a person without diabetes. A 60-year-old can expect to live 5.4 fewer years. By age 90, the difference is one year.

These numbers are not encouraging, but considering the number of people that do little to manage their diabetes, it is understandable. I wish there were studies that followed or tracked people that did tightly manage diabetes. I feel that these numbers on average would be better.

It would also be interesting to track the costs of diabetes between those that tightly manage diabetes to those that do little or nothing to manage diabetes. This is why I support efforts to use intervention to assist people and the use of peer to peer groups that can help people better manage diabetes. We need to totally debunk the myth that diabetes is a death sentence.

The article may be read here.

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